Last week I decided that I was going to give
house breaking potty training my 2-year-old daughter a try. I’m not quite sure yet what came over me but I saw a flicker of interest in her actions and decided that I was just going to give it a shot. I had originally planned on starting it several days prior but the death of my Aunt prevented my focus from being present and so we put the potty training on hold until the day after the funeral. I potty trained my son when he was nearly 3 years old and I recalled it being an experience that I didn’t ever hope to relive but in the end I used the same approaches that I used with him but this time I had a whole lot more patience and an understanding that once we started we just were not going to go backward easily.
You should probably know that I don’t often like to set my children up for failure and because of my obsession with this I was nervous to potty train the little one at a whole year younger than my son. I was only just beginning to grieve the death of my aunt and my recent diagnosis of pneumonia compounded my fears that this may not be a good time to start but what can I say about myself…
It’s really a true statement! When I set my mind on something I can for the most part stick to my focus until the task is completed. So I decided to take a casual approach to potty training and just see how it went. I started on a Thursday morning by bringing out the potty and setting up Violet’s toilet seat on the big toilet…complete with step stool to make it easy for her to haul her hiney up and do her business. It didn’t take very long before I (sitting across the room) heard the sound of tinkling pee on my hardwood floor and looked up just as my buck naked 2 year old proclaimed “OH MAN!!”. We did the whole song and dance about how pee pee goes in the toilet and she sat on her potty and looked at me like I had literally just stood on my head and played the harmonica by blowing air out of my nose. We have a way of understanding each other….theres something about this little bundle of 2-year-old diva emotion that just reminds me so much of myself and in that moment with her staring back at me and my knowledge that she thought I was a crazy mo-fo….we connected and we both silently thought “we got this”.
The week that followed that very first day had its share of ups and down but mostly I can confidently say that there were way more ups than downs and that unlike when I potty trained my son there were no tears shed. Sure it wasn’t so nice the time she leaped up excited from the toilet with poop still hanging from her butt to grab a book to read (she surely gets that little tidbit from her father)….I spent a good 20 minutes cleaning up her poop footprints and didn’t realize I had actually sat in poop until I was on my way to pick up my son from Kindergarten! Eek! It wasn’t the highlight of my day when I had to clean and scrub my upstairs carpet because she got so deeply distracted by her playing that she went pee on the carpet – but the thing about me is that I’m ok with messes – even BIG messes if it means that the kids are learning something and things are moving in the right direction…when I first had Jacob…messes scared me… but now I love messes because messes mean things are happening even if I have to clean them up afterward.
It has been exactly 1 week and 1 full day since we first began our adventure in toilet-land and so far the little lady and I have worked hard to get through it. We have managed to get every single poop into the potty and about 90% of her awake time pee is making it into the potty or toilet – this is BIG news people – BIG news!! We have managed to go out and about without having pee accidents and today we did not have one but TWO pee’s in the Walmart washroom! Zing zang…It’s exciting but I don’t want to celebrate just yet because there is still some progress to be made…but holy cow batman we just might have done this! Maybe? Whether my daughter is officially potty trained or not there is one thing I can say for sure…
I certainly have had loads of funny sitting on the floor singing songs, reading books, and acting like a goofball while I waited for her to do her business – there’s a silver lining in every cloud right?